The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has pledged to continue with her ‘Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Reproductive Health Campaign’, especially in the three regions of the north, to save the lives of mothers and their babies.
She said the three regions in the northern part of Ghana, which, historically have been the most underserved regions, would from next month be visited with her new campaign, which she launched in August last year.
Speaking at the 20th Ordinary General Assembly of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday, Mrs Akufo-Addo said the Volta Region was currently the region with the highest burden of HIV.
She said during the launch of her campaign in the Volta Region, she personally went through counselling and testing to encourage others to do so.
“We were able to reach about 4,500 community members with services ranging from distribution of condoms, information and education, and HIV and health screening.
“I also engaged with various stakeholders, who all resolved to ensure that no baby is born HIV positive,” she noted.
Mrs Akufo-Addo said one major challenge facing the HIV response was dwindling external resources, thusshe was leading efforts at mobilising domestic resources to champion action to fight HIV and other health issues, including maternal and child health.
She narrated to the applause of her counterpart first ladies how she was blessed to meet a remarkable HIV positive mother who had received the necessary support to not only stay healthy, but have five HIV negative children.
“Being so empowered motivated her to become a counsellor at one of our hospitals. I have met many more such women and their stories inspire me every day to do what I do”, the First Lady noted.
“This has been my modest achievement in a year. I intend to leave a legacy that will see Ghana achieve elimination of mother-to-child transmission, and to this I will commit my time and energy.
“Being First Lady presents me with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Ghanaians. I intend to do all I can for my people,” she said passionately.
The 20th Ordinary General Assembly of OAFLA, held on the sidelines of the Africa Union Summit, ongoing in Addis Ababa, opened on Saturday 27 and ended yesterday.
It was on the theme ‘Transforming Africa through Prioritising Children, Adolescents and Mothers in the Fight against HIV’.
The OAFLA members also used the occasion to launch a new campaign, dubbed ‘Free to Shine’, which was aimed at directing a new path of commitment towards the prevention of HIV infections among children, adolescents and mothers.
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